Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Off to Very Strong Start in 2016

This could be the beginning of a very strong year for Antigua and Barbuda tourism.

The country reported a 14 percent increase in air arrivals in January, according to the tourist board’s latest numbers.

That represented a total of 26,928 stayover visitors.

“The strong performance we experienced in November and December as we closed off 2015 is continuing into 2016,” said Tourism Minister Asot Michael. “Growth was recorded in our two largest, major source markets and it is clear that our strategic tourism plan is returning positive results in a big way.”

The United Kingdom accounted for 8,536 visitors, a 20 percent increase over January 2015, the strongest month for the UK market in Antigua since March 2014.

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“We have increased airlift to the destination, made enhancements to the product, strategically looked at our hotel operations and room stock, and intensified our sales and marketing efforts. The growth now, speaks volumes of the extremely hard work put in by our teams and industry partners,”  Michael said.

Air arrivals from the United States grew by 12 percent, as airlift to the destination surged with the addition of JetBlue service.

The destination also reported a 68 percent hotel occupancy rate last month, up from 62.1 percent in January.